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  • Climax



    Part of March Around the World 2019

    “Life is a collective impossibility.”

    There were so many languages. Aramaic, Phoenician, Etruscan, Tamil, Moabite, Umbrian. Too many languages. From where did they all come? It was a puzzlement, especially if you believed—and if you were authoring the Pentateuch you no doubt did—that all these speakers were branches of a single family tree. Why would Noah’s descendants, leaving the Ark to replenish the Earth, differ so greatly from one another? You needed an…

  • Burning



    Part of March Around the World 2019

    “She just...disappeared. Like a puff of smoke.”

    Having finally married his one true love, Estelle Oldham, after her intervening-but-ultimately-failed marriage to Cornell Franklin (he of the law degree and the respectable name and the top prospects and the antecedent family friendship with the Oldhams (Mr. and Mrs.)), William Cuthbert Faulkner required a home for his new family. And so he purchased The Sheegog Place (so named for its builder, Robert Sheegog), an old…

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  • Se7en



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Part of Hoop-Tober

    “Anyone who spends a significant amount of time with me finds me disagreeable.”


    He has taken on too much. Det. David Mills (Brad Pitt), deliberately uprooting his wife, Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), from upstate and dragging her to this lurid hellhole, all out of a naïve desire to save the world. So much ambition, he nearly chokes on it. So much chatter, he sucks all the air from the room.

    Det. William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) long ago…

  • Audition



    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    “This wire can cut through flesh and bone easily.”

    There is a large canvas bag on the floor. It is tied with rope. Inside it, a living thing moves violently.

    Before Audition descends into a maelstrom of hallucination and shocking violence, it moves along placidly as a domestic melodrama in the vein of Ozu or Sirk. The premise is skeevy, of course: Shigeharu Aoyama (Ryo Ishibashi), seven years a widower and living with his teenage son, is encouraged by both…